Google's YouTube to launch movie rental business

Video-sharing site YouTube is moving into online movie rental business with its fledgling service set to launch today. To start with only five films are being made available on rent.

The films have been sourced from the 2009 and 2010 Sundance Film Festivals and will only be available in the US.

According to analysts, the move represents a major development for the Google-owned company, which has been looking for ways to boost its bottom line.
They say this could be a huge move for YouTube which is an attempt to monetise the site. They add, the move would open the door for YouTube with bigger movie studios.

The site would allow content providers to charge their own prices from which YouTube will take a cut of the revenue. All but one of the Sundance films is on offer for $3.99 each for users to watch over a 48-hour viewing period.

The site is best known for its user-generated content with 20 hours of video being uploaded every minute. According to Comscore, last August, over 10 billion videos had been streamed on YouTube.

According to industry insiders, the first step would logically lead to more ambitious pay-per-view plans.